Rockets win the tempo battle

Rockets win the tempo battle
December 23, 2012, 12:00 am
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Rockets dictated pace of game vs. Grizzlies

The key matchup before the game was the clash to two contrasting styles. Consider that matchup won by the Rockets.

The fast-paced offense won out over the defense of the Grizzlies 121-96.

"That was the whole key," James Harden said. "They just like to pound the ball in the paint and get easy lay-ups and things like that. It was our job to push the tempo and get stops and get transition and I think we did that early on."

"They were tired, they played last night," Jeremy Lin said. "So we wanted to make sure to come in guns blazing and just make them miss and just get the ball out and then run as fast as we can. So that's what we tried to do."

They succeeded to the point of winning the fastbreak-point battle 33-3.

"That's a crazy stat line right there," Greg Smith said. "You know, just getting rebounds and pushing it. You know that they're going to be tired. Marc Gasol, sometimes he lagged behind, so we just got to push it down their throats and four-on-three's, two-on-one's, try to take advantage of them, and either get fouled or score, and it worked out today."

Other stats to look at: before the game, Lin had said the two keys were taking care of the ball and rebounding. The Rockets had 15 turnovers, which is pretty decent against a defensive-minded team like the Grizzlies, and outrebounded Memphis 38-37, which says a lot considering the Grizzlies' frontcourt that includes Gasol and Zach Randolph.

Overall, it was a strong game by the Rockets, a convincing win: one where they pushed the tempo and pushed the Grizz out of the Toyota Center with a loss.